Using Grass Roots Marketing to Make Your Trade Show Grow

When you hear the word grassroots, what comes to mind?

Maybe you think of political campaigns or the swelling of a justice-type movement…but have you ever associated the word to marketing?

In case you haven’t, grassroots marketing is the growth or awareness of your brand through organic word of mouth from everyday people, not through pouring money into expensive ad campaigns by top-level executives.

What makes a grassroots movement so significant is their ability to create a following that’s authentic and loyal, not manufactured.

It’s an enviable phenomenon that many people try to create but often turn out to be counterfeit imitators.

I’ll admit that sometimes I can grasp onto something that I know will help grow my business but then struggle with knowing how to implement it.

Don’t avoid what you don’t know.

Face it and embrace it.

So how do you tap into the grassroots phenomenon in a way that’s real?

Here’s what I’ve learned and found helpful, and hopefully, it will point you in the right direction…

Get Inspired.

Being inspired by what others have done and using it to help jump-start your own grassroots campaign is OK.

Here’s an example…

Famous author and life coach Tony Robbins doesn’t shy away from using a clever grassroots marketing strategy for events. Sending out a scouting team a few months ahead of the scheduled event, Robbins team host free seminars for local business groups, like the Chamber of Commerce where they address topics and issues that businesses face while using the fundamental principles and teachings of Robbins – specifically not mentioning the upcoming event.

This cultivates interest while not directly marketing the upcoming paid event with Robbins himself. This type of grassroots undertaking gets people talking well before tickets go on sale.

It’s a strategy worthy of inspiration – might it work for your event’s also?

Break The Mold

Brand standards can sometimes feel too rigid – they often don’t allow for collaboration and the kind of flexibility that you might find in a more organic approach.

It can be particularly difficult to give face and body events the grassroots appeal that they sometimes desperately need.

To boost a more organic effort, encourage local face and body industries like spa’s, salons, and estheticians to build up a network for themselves by hosting meetups and non-event sponsored demonstrations.

This not only helps to support local industry but it also paves the way for creating a buzz about products and services that will be featured in future face and body events.

This can work for any face and body show so don’t be afraid to affect change by getting in there early and laying the groundwork for opening up future opportunities.

Use Your Resources

There’s not always going to be something in it for you other than the pure satisfaction and fulfillment of doing something for someone else.

Sometimes your best resource is you.

Ok, so what am I hinting at?

I’m suggesting that you participate in events that aren’t directly related to yours, specifically, ones that are philanthropic in nature.

Here are some examples:

  • If you’re a spa – Provide free haircuts/hairstyles for the less fortunate with local hairstylists.
  • In tech – Host a tech-related competition at an underperforming school for kids at a tech show and then show off their latest projects at an upcoming tech show.
  • Partner with a local non-profit and help collect donations for a cause near and dear to your heart.


In a world that’s full of the artificial, the genuine and authentic is made all the more appealing.

Do you believe in what you’re doing?

So will others.

One of the best aspects of grassroots marketing is that it doesn’t pretend to be something that it’s not – the small budgetary costs don’t hurt either.

Stick to your long term plan and watch the movement grow.

It’s worth it =)